The New Zealand players will be devastated on their way back home but they should be forever proud of how they performed in the World Cup final.
Both teams were incredible, each had times where they were on top and in control before it was wrestled back, so there were so many parts that you could analyse and deconstruct from the match.
Two ties in a World Cup final at Lord’s, you can’t even imagine that stuff. There was a lot going on, a lot packed into 102 overs and it was gripping from start to end.
It is heart-breaking for New Zealand. You could see the emotion from Kane Williamson at the end of the game and there would be some devastated guys in that dressing room.
The fans and the country will be devastated – they saw the effort, they saw the fightback and the opportunity to win the game. The two ties are crazy, but there will be a lot of pride around the performance not only in this game but with the way New Zealand have played throughout the whole World Cup.
You can’t take anything away from England. A couple of things went their way towards the end of the game but they were under an immense amount of pressure for the last few weeks of the tournament.
Also Read: How New Zealand was undone by luck.
They stood up and dominated, they beat the three other semi-finalists in successive games to reach the final and you can’t underestimate that type of performance.
New Zealand played very well in that final – they barely did anything wrong and in that seems unfair to be talking about them as a losing side.
So for them it’s about celebrating the brilliance of their game and there was plenty of it. The catches in the outfield were superb. Matt Henry, with the new ball, was fantastic and so was Colin de Grandhomme to put together a spell of 1/25 in a World Cup final shouldn’t be overlooked.
Jimmy Neesham did a great job, Lockie Ferguson was among the wickets, Tom Latham played really well with the bat – there are far more positives than negative to take from this game and the performance.
It’s a time to celebrate what went right and not focus too heavily on what went wrong. New Zealand have shown themselves to have the fight but there’s plenty to notice in the skill as well, their talent in pressure moments is incredible and they’ve shown that in so many games through the tournament, not least against India.
To see that and to see the way they play makes all New Zealanders very proud. The Black Caps are a fantastic group of guys and that’s personified in their cricket, as it was for England, too.
Watching Kane Williamson and Eoin Morgan lead their teams made it such a pleasure for people to watch that final, these are two great teams doing their all but with upmost respect for each other.
Looking ahead to where New Zealand go, we certainly won’t be seeing too much change from them.
This is a settled team and the majority of this squad will be available for the next World Cup, so they’ve got the building blocks of something very special.
They’ll take a lot of experience from this heading forward and there’s no reason why these 15 guys can’t be competing for a title in India in four years’ time.
This column was first published in the International Cricket Council media zone.